Thursday, April 25, 2019
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Florida again plunged into a bitter electoral muddle

Republicans, Donald Trump in the lead, and Democrats blamed each other Friday for the election results still uncertain in Florida, three days after the legislative, a controversy that recalls the historical tangle of the US presidential election of 2000.

"It's shameful what's happening in Florida," Donald Trump thundered in front of the cameras.

Weighing all his presidential authority in a result that has not yet been officially announced after Tuesday's parliamentary elections, he similarly claimed that the Republican candidate in the Senate in Florida, Rick Scott, "easily won."

The counting is still ongoing.

"In a democracy, no one, not even the president, can prevent the legal counting of votes," said the head of the Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer. "We will not allow it, or anyone else, to steal this election."

Florida looks set to be counted again in the next few days, as the margin between Scott and outgoing Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is tight, at 0.18 percentage points on Friday, with less than 15,000 votes in a state of California. 21 million inhabitants.

A similar scenario upsets the election for Florida's governorship.

In this case, the Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum first conceded his defeat on Tuesday night.

But he has since learned that many ballots still had to be counted, which could change the narrow margin -0.44 points, and 36,165 votes Friday – separating him from the Republican Ron DeSantis.

The local authorities have until Saturday noon in order to communicate the provisional results. If the difference is then less than 0.5 point, a new counting will be automatically ordered. If it is less than 0.25 points, this new count should be done by hand.

It will be necessary to wait before having official results in this same Florida which had occupied the media of the whole world in the year 2000, when only a few votes separated the republican George W. Bush of the democrat Al Gore for the presidential one.

The striking images of scrutinizing officials, sometimes with a magnifying glass, one by one punched bulletins have marked the memories.

The process was finally decided by the US Supreme Court. The Republican defeated the Democrat in Florida by 537 votes and won the presidential election.

But this time, the local authorities have an obligation to give a final result on 18 November.

– Georgia and Arizona –

In neighboring Georgia, the Democratic candidate for governorship, Stacey Abrams, has refused since Tuesday to concede defeat against Republican Brian Kemp, until all votes were counted.

"You mean they are finding votes right now in Florida and Georgia while the election was held on Tuesday?" Quipped Donald Trump on Twitter. Brian Kemp "won".

For his part, Rick Scott, still in his governorship of Florida, announced Thursday night that he had filed a complaint against election officials denouncing a "rampant fraud".

Angry pro-Scott protesters gathered before an election commission on Friday.

But no investigation for fraud had been opened Friday evening, said the Florida authorities to AFP.

"We do not find votes," said outgoing Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. "They are just being counted."

He, too, has launched a lawsuit to prevent thousands of newsletters sent by mail from being rejected.

Judging by the declarations of "irresponsible" republican officials, David Lublin, professor of political science at American University, rejects the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčmanipulation.

The counting of ballots, which include dozens of categories and also arrive in large numbers by mail, still takes time in the United States. And in states where the results are as tight as in Florida, every vote counts, so you have to wait.

The same reasoning applies to Arizona, where voters can still make a dramatic change in the choice of their senator, while more than 260,000 ballots were still not counted Friday night.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema surprised by taking the lead over Republican Martha McSally, whose victory seemed assured Tuesday.

Kyrsten Sinema led more than 20,000 votes on Friday night. A new vote point is scheduled for Saturday.

If the Democrats finally win here and in Florida, the Republican majority in the Senate will remain assured but will be shorter than expected.


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